My dear friends,
Linda O'Neil, a friend and an occasional visitor to our Thursday evening program, died suddenly last week. I knew Linda initially through her close friendship with my wife, Jan. At first, she and I had something of an arm's-length relationship. But over the last couple of years I got to know her as a friend, too, and I came to deeply appreciate her sensitivity, her openness, and her sense of humor. I was also profoundly touched by her rapport with our young son, Daniel. She had an effortless way of meeting him on his own terms, while engaging him in a way that made him want to move toward hers.
So in addition to being with Jan’s loss, I have been going through my own shock, sadness, anger, grief, and remorse. Slowly and in small pieces, I am also connecting with the thanks I feel for the gift of Linda’s life. It’s taking time; grief has a way of eclipsing gratitude. But I feel the continuation of her special presence, and I clearly see the lesson of interbeing: that each of us is a unique and precious continuation of those who touch us.
This Thursday evening, after our meditation period, we will practice “The Five Earth Touchings,” a ceremony which helps awaken us to our history and to our relationships. Afterwards, our discussion will begin with this question: